Monday, March 22, 2010

The Seven Deadly Sins

Over the centuries, the Seven Deadly (Cardinal) Sins have been edited and revised, depending on the times. The current version seems to include these:

1. Lust
2. Gluttony
3. Greed
4. Sloth
5. Wrath
6. Envy
7. Pride

Back in the old days, fornication topped the list, and vainglory ("inordinate pride") got downgraded to pride in general.

And who among us has not been guilty of some of these? Got drunk Saturday, pigged out, kyped the last hot wing as you watched the game? Lusted after that cheerleader you saw on the half time show? Pleased with how much you could drink before you fell over? Wish you had your buddy's 60" Hi-Def 3D TV? Laid around all day Sunday and bagged mowing the lawn? Got pissed off at your spouse for ragging on you about any of the above?

Hey, you are guilty of all of them.

Well, that's between you and God. I'm here to talk about the one I'm most guilty about today, which would be sloth.

Aside from being a big tree hanging critter called this because he's slow -- that's what "sloth" means, from the Old English -- "slow" plus "th" -- the word has come to mean other things:

"Laziness, idleness, indolence, slothfulness, inactivity,inertia, sluggishness, shiftlessness,
apathy, acedia, listlessness, lassitude, lethargy, languor, torpidity; literary hebetude."


I'm gonna let the obvious racist definitions of that one pass, thank you. And no, torpidity is not something a U-boat used to sink ships.

But the sloth I'm acknowledging is the usual beast I notice this time of year. I've done basic workout stuff during the cold and wet winter, but slacked off enough so that I've lost flexibility, strength, and allowed myself to stagnate. Let's face it, when it's thirty-eight degrees F. and raining, going out back to do djurus and work the punching bag and fling around the iron just isn't as much fun as it is on a warm spring day. So the workout tends to get abbreviated, or done inside, and the long warm-up, stretches, and cool-down left off altogether.

So each spring, I wipe the moss from my eyes and look around and come-to-realize it's time to clear the decks and get moving.

Don't really feel like it today, mind you, because I moved furniture and boxes of books and like that all day yesterday, plus I'm still not altogether well, having not quite shaken the bug I got. The crackles and crepitations and rales make me sound like the eighth dwarf, Wheezy, and even the dog walk was tiring.

So I'll just put it off until tomorrow ...

No. No. That way lies slothitude. At the very least, I can do yoga and stretch before doing djurus. Bending over and putting my hands flat on the floor isn't in the cards today, but maybe I can loosen up enough so I don't pull my back out putting the dog food bowls onto the floor ...

A quick word of -- pardon the expression -- wisdom here:

Every year it gets harder. If you get too far behind, you are going to look up and realize you aren't really in the race any more, and if you don't pick up the pace, you will be lapped. Better to get far enough ahead and try to hold on as long as you can. Much easier to stay fit if you already are than it is to get fit if you let it go.

Gotta do it. Otherwise I might have to get a new T-shirt: I Am a Man My Age ...


AF1 said...

Maybe it's the perfect time to try that new workout program that Steven Barnes likes so much. ;)

Mike Byers said...

Entropy (and thermodynamics) always win in the end, but I figure you've got to give 'em a good fight anyway.
Anyone can surrender to the inevitable, but there's no satisfaction in that.

Viro said...

I had to look up 'Hebetude.' Its root is latin- 'Hebes.' Which means dull, stupid or blunt.

Dojo Rat said...

..Old and in the way...

Unknown said...

After 50, you're just engaged in decay maintenance.

Steve Perry said...

After forty, as Virginia Wolfe is reputed to have said, it's patch, patch, patch ...

I think the Sonnon program is undoubtedly a good one, but I fancy that I know enough about beating myself into shape so I don't need to spend a couple hundred bucks learning a new way to do it.

I'm not his market. He sells to serious muscleheads looking to be super-fit, or people looking for something they can get into, and I'm neither.

I caught the tail end of a class with Sonnon once, a thing he and Barnes put together, and Sonnon knows his stuff and is in fantastic shape, no question. But there seems to be a kind of all-or-nothing attitude that doesn't do it for me. Probably not what he's saying, but in a couple of email exchanges via Barnes's blog, I got the impression that if you weren't going at it full-out, world-class, you were a do-nothing schlub. And a remark that there was no such thing as over-training, only under-recovery struck me as a bit precious. Cutting off one end of a rope and tying it to the other end doesn't make it longer ...

Justin said...

Usually when I'm feeling slothy, I'll put on some Pink Floyd. Nothing kicks your ass like "Time."

And then one day you find
10 years have gone behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

Makes me feel like shit all the time, but usually in a good, get-motivated, be-productive sort of way.